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Palestinian hospitals stretched with influx of wounded

Israeli forces have injured more than 900 Palestinians since clashes over al-Aqsa Mosque compound erupted on July 14.

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More than 900 Palestinians have been injured in confrontations with Israeli forces in the last 10 days over the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Palestinian hospitals, already overstretched, fear a large influx of injured if tensions, which erupted on July 14 after Israel closed the sensitive site in occupied East Jerusalem, continue.

They also highlighted that most of the injuries inflicted by the Israeli forces were from rubber-coated steel bullets.

International human rights groups have long condemned Israel’s use of such bullets.

READ MORE: Mahmoud Abbas freezes contact with Israel over al-Aqsa

The 39-year-old Mohammed Ismeal, currently being treated at Al Maqassid hospital in East Jerusalem, was apparently shot with a stun grenade in the head, which left him drifting in and out of consciousness.

“He wasn’t disabled. But now look at him. He can’t recognise anyone. It’s like he’s lost his memory,” Muataz Ismeal, the patient’s brother, told Al Jazeera.

Suleiman Turukman, the doctor in charge of Mohammed’s case, said he feared for his patient’s life.

“His condition was serious. He was about to die. He is now improving slowly. But is disoriented and cannot recognise his family due to the trauma.”

The clashes with the Israeli forces that started with the closure of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound have continued since its reopening as Israel introduced metal detectors as a security measure at the entrances of the site.

The Palestinians see the move an attempt by Israel to expand its control at the Muslim-administered compound.

On Sunday, Israel installed new security cameras at the site which also angered the protesters.

READ MORE – Israel installs security cameras at al-Aqsa compound

Hussein Da’na, a 76-year-old Palestinian, told Al Jazeera that he “rejects” the cameras because they disadvantage Palestinians further.

“These cameras are made to identify the faces of people who are barred from entering al-Aqsa Mosque,” Da’na said.

“We pray each morning here and the police assaults us. I intend to keep praying here until Israel removes all what is new,” he added, referring to the security measures.

Major General Yoav Mordechai, who heads the Israeli defence body for Palestinian civilian affairs, said Israel was open to alternatives to lower the tensions.

“The only thing we want is to ensure no one can enter with weapons again and carry out another attack,” he said. “We’re willing to examine alternatives to the metal detectors as long as the solution of alternative ensures the prevention of the next attack.”

However, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, told the Voice of Palestine he demands a complete return to procedures that were in place before the initial attack at the shrine.

In a statement on Sunday, the Islamic institutions in Jerusalem, of which he is a part, said they “affirm the categorical rejection of the electronic gates and all the measures of occupation”.

A top adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said a series of consultations are under way with various countries to try and lower tensions in Jerusalem.

Abbas’s diplomatic adviser, Majdi Khaldi, said the Palestinians are coordinating with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and others.

 

Middle East

Gaza protests : 4 killed, 618 injured

Eyewitnesses said Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at journalists and TV crew in eastern Gaza. Palestinian demonstrators brought down an Israeli drone carrying a camera used to film demonstrators in eastern Gaza City.

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Gaza protests

Jerusalem, June 9 (IANS) Four Palestinian protesters were killed and 618 others wounded by Israeli soldiers on Friday during clashes near the Israel-Gaza border, officials said.

Ashraf al-Qedra, the Health Ministry spokesman in Gaza, said Zeyad al-Briem, 25, and Haytham al-Jammal, 15, were killed in east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, while Emad Darabieh, 26, was shot dead in east of Jabalia in northern Gaza.

Meanwhile, Yousef al-Faseeh, 29, was killed in east of Gaza City, Xinhua reported.

Among the injured Palestinians, 117 were hit with live gunshots, 60 with tear gas inhalation, and 77 by bullets shrapnels or tear gas canisters, said al-Qedra.

The clashes, which broke out on Friday afternoon, were part of the 11th Friday “Great March of Return” held by Palestinians in Gaza since March 30. More than 120 Palestinians have been killed so far.

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The Palestinian organisers called the latest rally “the Friday of the One-million-men March for Jerusalem”.

Local media reported that thousands of Palestinian demonstrators joined the protests at five different spots in eastern Gaza.

Hundreds of kites carrying Molotov cocktails flown by demonstrators landed on Israeli agricultural fields and caused large fires.

Eyewitnesses said Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at journalists and TV crew in eastern Gaza. Palestinian demonstrators brought down an Israeli drone carrying a camera used to film demonstrators in eastern Gaza City.

Five journalists were injured, including AFP photographer Mohamed al-Baba, who was shot in his right foot, and a cameraman working for the al-Aqsa Radio of Hamas, who was hit with a tear gas canister in his back, the Health Ministry in Gaza said.

The Ministry also accused Israeli soldiers of firing tear gas at the medical workers who were treating the injured protesters.

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Middle East

Israel begins building marine barrier with Gaza

Israel claims Hamas constructs these tunnels to attack Israeli civilians.

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Avigdor Liberman

Jerusalem, May 28 (IANS) Israel’s Defence Minister on Sunday announced that construction had begun on a marine barrier with the Gaza Strip extending into the Mediterranean Sea.

Avigdor Liberman said in a statement that the barrier aimed to prevent any attempts by Palestinians in Gaza to enter Israeli territory through the sea, Efe news reported.

“This is an additional setback for Hamas, which has lost another strategic capability that it has invested massive amounts in developing. We will continue to protect the citizens of Israel with might and sophistication,” Liberman said.

The barrier is to consist of three layers, one of which is to be underwater, and is expected to be completed within a year, the statement added.

During Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza, members of the military wing of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that governs the Gaza Strip, managed to swim to Israeli territory and launch an attack on a Israeli army installation before being killed.

Israeli authorities are also constructing an underground barrier beneath the Gaza-Israel boundary to stop Hamas from digging tunnels into Israeli territory.

Israel claims Hamas constructs these tunnels to attack Israeli civilians.

An independent inquiry into the 2014 war in Gaza by the UN Human Rights Council concluded that “the tunnels were only used to conduct attacks directed at IDF (Israeli army) positions in Israel in the vicinity of the Green Line, which are legitimate military targets.”

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Middle East

US drone strikes kill 11 IS militants in Afghanistan

The drone strikes were launched on Sunday. Two IS militants were also wounded and three vehicles were destroyed after the raids.

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Kabul, May 28 : At least 11 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed after US and NATO-led coalition forces launched airstrikes in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, authorities said on Monday.

“The drone strikes were launched on Sunday. Two IS militants were also wounded and three vehicles were destroyed after the raids,” an Army statement said.

Also on Sunday, Afghan Army helicopters struck and destroyed two heroin factories in Khogyani district, reports Xinhua news agency.

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